CHICAGO (Jan. 25)
Jews in the South were lauded tonight at the annual conference of the American Council for Judaism for not allowing themselves “to be stampeded by the dynamiting” of synagogues. However, Clarence L. Coleman, Jr., national president of the organization, deplored Jewish leaders and organizations which he said “sought to make capital of these shocking incidents.”
Addressing the annual dinner of the ACJ conference, Mr. Coleman urged “Jews and non-Jews alike to find a peaceful solution to inter-racial conflict–a solution worked out in the interest of all Americans.” He declared, however, that in this as in other matters of national concern, Jews should act through non-sectarian agencies.
Mr. Coleman claimed that American Zionist organizations have lost “support and prestige” during the last year. At the same time, he said that “American Jews now find themselves incapable of acting publicly as Jews without seeming to support Zionism.”
More and more, he asserted, American Jews are choosing to integrate steadily into American life, rather than selecting the “Jewish nationalist” pattern. “But offsetting the current Zionist effort to ‘capture the communities’ may be more difficult than anything the Council has faced before,” he added.
Continuing integration of Jews into American life has been hampered by the growing centralization of Jewish organizations, according to an analysis released Friday by the Council at its conference. The analysis claimed that Jewish “welfare federations, community centers and other agencies–almost without exception–are integrated into a structure which advances ‘Jewish’ nationalism rather than Judaism. “The report expressed the opinion that the casualnon-Jewish observer today believes that “when the Israeli Government whistles, the local synagogue’s pulpit, the local welfare federation, the local Community Relations Council, dance.”
In most cases, the declared purposes for which local and national Jewish institutions are chartered “become sidetracked,” the report continued. “‘Defense’ agencies become ‘expert’ statistical bureaus and protagonists for–or against–all manner of legislation. Religious agencies become political activists, covering all issues with the general emotionalism of ‘social justice.’ Community centers–dedicated to local social services–become ‘integrated’ into a pattern designed to make for heightened ethnic consciousness and ‘Jewish’ nationalism.”